Johannes Stark

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Stark, Johannes


Born Apr. 15, 1874, in Schickenhof; died June 21, 1957, in Traunstein. German physicist (Federal Republic of Germany).

Stark became a professor at the Technische Hochschule in Hanover in 1906, at the Technische Hochschule in Aachen in 1909, at the University of Greifswald in 1917, and at the University of Würzburg in 1920. From 1933 to 1939, he was the president of the Reich Physical-Technical Institute in Berlin. Between 1934 and 1936, he was the president of the German Scientific Society.

In 1919, Stark received a Nobel Prize for the discovery of the Doppler effect in canal rays and for the discovery of the splitting of spectral lines in electric fields (seeSTARK EFFECT). Stark also carried out research in gas discharges. He discovered the deflection of light as it passes through nonuniform electric fields.

During Hitler’s regime, Stark was an active Nazi.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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There's a reluctance to accept that great ideas can come from horrible people -- like the rabidly Nazi-supporting and Nobel-winning physicists Philipp Lenard and Johannes Stark. When they both launched virulently anti-semitic attacks on Einstein and his "Jewish physics" in the 1920s, he weathered it with great fortitude, patience and even humour.
Just two days before Albert Einstein spoke to the French Philosophical Society on April 6,1922, one of his fiercest German opponents, Johannes Stark, a Nobel Prize physicist, lamented the fact that "since the end of the war the French have suppressed the German people in the most brutal manner ...
Perhaps most infamously, the physicist's groundbreaking scientific theories were derided by German Nobel laureates Philipp Lenard and Johannes Stark as "Judische Physik" in contradistinction to the superior "Deutsche Physik." Spurred by such ordeals, Einstein would fight against anti-Semitism for much of his later life, most notably through his Zionist advocacy.
Thus, for instance, such truly mobilized physicists as Philipp Lenard and Johannes Stark had a mainly negative influence on their discipline in Germany by chasing out all the Jews and critics of the Nazi regime and creating a so-called German science that rejected all the most important insights of modern physics as Jewish fabrications.